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Prof. Richard Mole

Professor of Political Sociology

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

POPREBEL Director of Research

POPREBEL project: ‘Homophobia and populist politics in Poland, Czech Republic and Germany’

While populists in Poland have instrumentalised the high levels of homophobia in a bid to appeal to the ‘left behind’ by presenting themselves as the champions of traditional values, Czech politicians with equally robust populist credentials have been less willing to adopt this strategy, while some German populists actively court the LGBTQ community. So, while post-communist populists share an antipathy towards the EU, ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees, their stance on homosexuality is more ambiguous. The aim of this task is to analyse the relationship between populism and homosexuality, seeking to understand the appeal of homophobic discourse to the ‘left behind’ and why some populist politicians consider homophobia a useful political strategy, while others are more neutral and others still seek out the support of the LGBTQ community.

Key publications

  • Mole, R.C.M. (ed.) (2019) Soviet and Post-Soviet Sexualities. London: Routledge
  • Mole, R.C.M. (2019) ‘Queer Russian asylum-seekers in Germany: worthy refugees and acceptable forms of harm?’ in Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (ed.) Refuge in a Moving World. London: UCL Press [forthcoming]
  • Mole, R.C.M. (2019) ‘The Post-Communist Identity Crisis and Queer Migration from Poland’ in Menjivar, C., Ness, I. and Ruiz, M. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Migration Crises. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 691-704
  • Mole, R.C.M (2018) ‘Identity, belonging and solidarity in the Russian-speaking queer diaspora in Berlin’, Slavic Review, vol. 77, no. 1, 77-98
  • Mole, R.C.M. (2016) ‘Nationalism and homophobia in Central and Eastern Europe’ in Slootmaekers, K., Touquet, H., and Vermeersch, P. (eds) EU Enlargement and Lesbian and Gay Politics: The Impact of Eastern Enlargement on Rights, Activism and Prejudice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 99-122